During my elementary days, I had no idea about public speaking, until came my fifth grade when my teacher chose me to compete in a tagalog oration contest during the Linggo ng Wika celebration. Memorizing the three pages oration handy written in a yellow paper was one of the additional tasks I had to do during that time, I need to familiarize myself to the stop and go words and paragraphs, expression should be timely and should be in accordance of the sentence I was uttering. And most importantly and essentially, the confidence must be there all the time! Voice should be loud too. I won second place then! Yipee, then many competitions followed, declamation was another one.
Having been chosen to compete in these public speaking gained more confidence in me when I was having public speaking competition, more so of improving my communication skills. Learning how to perform before the numerous audience and getting judged by the way how you speak, how you react, how you express yourself while speaking, the gestures you made while speaking and the voice tone helped a lot in the improvement of my communication skills.
Joining various speaking contests did not stop during my elementary days, I even had it when I was in college. Not only the oration, declamation, poetry and debates are the ways where you can have this public speaking ability, by having a speech in front of many is also one of the examples, the speech during the elections, the thanksgiving speech, and many more. So there are lots of things where you can gain and improve your public speaking ability. (And I had it twice, not competition, when I was invited and honored to be the guest speaker during the 2007 Cabatang Elementary Graduation and 2008 3rd LNHS Recognition).
So start practicing your communication skills where it can lead to enhancing and improving your public speaking ability and building up your confidence.